Stone Marten (Martes foina)

033 by bill kralovec

Update – My friend Dr. Milan Ružić identified this Stone or Beech Marten correctly as I had guessed it was a weasel. I wrote it up below. The good thing is I shouldn’t be sad that it was road kill. The martens are a nuisance species and crowd out owls and other animals by stealing nesting sites, hunting their prey, etc. Dr. Ružić explains it better than me below.

I have seen a photo of a Stone Marten (Martes foina) under the text. You have identified it as a Least Weasel (M. nivalis). Mustela nivalis is much smaller and redish in color. Stone Marten is domestic species but became a real menace and problem in urban
> environment in last few decades. Their population grows bigger and bigger as they use all possible resources such as old buildings, variety of avian and mammalian food etc. In some countries (Netherlands) this species is blamed to be one of the most effective predators on rural and urban owls such as Barn Owl (Tyto alba) and Little Owl (Athene noctua).
>We have a number of sightings of Stone Marten in towns and villages in Serbia

On my way to school this week I sadly came across this weasel. It was killed by a car the night before.. It is on the main road of Dedinje (Ulica Užička) and about 50 meters further on was a big hedge hog. I always stop for road kill, as it is a good way to learn about the animals that live in the neighborhood.

I think this is a weasel, as most of the locals identified it as one (Ласица – lasica) It is the biggest weasel I ever saw. According to my research, they do vary greatly in size. It is quite common throughout both Europe and North America. They are adaptable animals that can live in a variety of habitats. They have high metabolisms and are excellent, strong hunters. Most of their diet are mice and other rodents.

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